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62 one implication of the silent period is that your

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Unformatted text preview: dents mostly listen to the new language without speaking much in the second language (Ovando & Collier, 1998). There can be many reasons for the silent period, including students’ comfort level with their environment and their personal feelings of confidence with the new language. We would be mistaken, however, if we believed that no language learning is occurring during the silent period. Students who listen without speaking tend to progress as well as their more verbal peers in acquiring a second language (Allwright & Bailey, 1991). 62 One implication of the silent period is that your second language learners should be given the opportunity to be involved in class experiences that require the use of the second language, but you should not require them to speak unless they feel comfortable doing so. Their observations of the class interactions provide them with important information about the second language they are learning. Why is the silent period an example of the social cognitive distinction between learning and performance? (For your authors’ perspective on this question go to the chapter web site.) Focus On Learner Diversity 4.2 Self-Efficacy And Learners With Special Needs In today’s schools, the goal is to include students with special needs as much as possible in the regular education classroom. This means that you are likely to have students in your classroom with mental retardation, learning disabilities, and other special learning needs. You will need to be prepared for the learning and motivational needs of these students. Students with special learning needs typically have had a history of school or social failures. Because of these failure experiences, they may develop a motivational belief system called learned helplessness (Hallahan & Kaufmann, 2000; Marks, 1998; Settle & Milich, 1999; Valäs, 2001). Learned helplessness is students’ belief that no matter what they do, they are likely to fail (Seligman, 63 1992). Helpless students believe they do not control their behavioral outcomes (Nurmi, Onatsu, & Haavisto, 1995). In social cognitive terms, these learners develop very low self-efficacy for classroom learning. Students with learned helplessness often reduce their effort at school because they believe that effort will not matter. This results in more failure experiences that reinforce the learned helplessness beliefs while also preventing them from learning needed skills (Borkowski, 1992). Teachers’ attempts to break this motivational cycle are often complicated because these students also lack knowledge of effective learning strategies and a sense of when and how to use these strategies. (Hallahan & Bryan, 1981; Torgesen, 1977). One place to start, therefore, is to teach your students learning strategies, while helping them develop a more optimistic view of themselves as learners. Using what you have read about topics such as self-efficacy and goal-setting, explain how you might help these students develop more positive self-efficacy beliefs. (For your authors’ perspective on this question go to the chapter web site.)...
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